Dear Urban Peak Family,
I sound like a broken record. I tell my children, the youth and staff at Urban Peak to social distance, wear a mask, isolate, quarantine, monitor and screen for symptoms, gather outside not inside, wash your hands, work remotely if possible, take care of yourselves, take care of each other and THANK YOU. This is how I am navigating these “unprecedented and uncertain times.” I wonder, do my words make them safe? Can these reminders keep them healthy? Will Urban Peak be able to continue our critical work throughout this craziness? Because we have to be safe and healthy so that the young people who find their way to us will always find an open door.
The truth of the matter is that youth who experience homelessness face unfathomable trauma. Toxic stress undermines their brain development and impacts long-term functioning. It can lead to mental and physical health problems, victimization, substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices and, now, disproportionate risk of being impacted by COVID. The young people who come to Urban Peak are living though a pandemic and experiencing or recovering from homelessness, all at the same time. Imagine the complexity of that reality. It’s mindboggling.
However, the youth at Urban Peak have taught me never to underestimate the power of resiliency. I see it every day in our youth, our staff, our board and the donors that make up the Urban Peak community. The resiliency on display is unprecedented, but never uncertain. Our new normal presents many challenges, but I believe that Urban Peak epitomizes resiliency because we find hope at Urban Peak. As one Urban Peak youth said, “Urban Peak doesn’t just protect me from the streets, it’s my community. It’s where I feel safe. It’s where I can change my life. And, if I get COVID, I know that someone will care.”
I know that each of us takes our role as members of the Urban Peak family very seriously. I believe that it’s because the youth who are the heart of our community deserve safety, belonging, support and caring. Schedule your Colorado Gives Day gift now and #bethespark. We appreciate you standing up and standing with us. Urban Peak is strong because of you.
Chief Executive Officer